Yorkshire Building Society in Burgess Hill to close

Yorkshire Building Society is proposing to close its branch in The Martlets Shopping Centre, Burgess Hill.

Friday, 30th October 2020, 9:32 am

The society said it is planning to ‘reshape and rebalance its national branch network to ensure it is delivering good value to its membership as a whole’.

It said this would involve reducing the high street network in areas where it is highly concentrated, with YBS’s branch in Church Walk, Burgess Hill, proposed for closure in February.

A spokesman said: “Burgess Hill has four other YBS branches and agencies within 11 miles and its next nearest branch is less than four miles away in South Road, Haywards Heath.

Yorkshire Building Society is located in The Martlets Shopping Centre, pictured in February. Picture: Steve Robards

“Another 11 branches in other regions are also proposed for closure.

“The proposals would also involve discontinuing the society’s face-to-face mortgage advice available in branches, which has been declining in popularity for the past five years.

“Just five per cent of the society’s mortgage applications were made through this channel at the start of this year.

“Personal and convenient mortgage advice would continue to be available from fully-qualified mortgage advisors by telephone, which is an increasingly popular channel with customers.

“The society believes the proposals would enable customers to access high street services whilst ensuring members’ money is used in a more cost-effective way. Over the longer term, the Society would look to expand its network into new towns and cities where there is customer demand but where the society currently has no presence.”

Gary Fowler, director of Retail Distribution at Yorkshire Building Society Group, said: “We are a strong and financially sustainable mutual which members have trusted with their money for more than 150 years.

“We have evolved in that time from a small local building society into a secure and reliable contemporary mortgages and savings provider, serving more than 3m people across the UK.

“Burgess Hill has seen a significant long term decline in transactions, as well as balances at the branch.

“We are also seeing declining face-to-face mortgage applications, which now represent just five per cent of all our customer mortgage applications.

“Like all businesses, to remain relevant and competitive in today’s market, we must continue to evolve.

“The proposed changes will enable us to deliver better overall value for members by operating in a more cost-effective way, with the savings we make being reinvested in the business.

“Our focus now is working with impacted colleagues to ensure they are treated fairly and that they get the support they need over the coming months.”